New car revs up local project

2016-10-11 06:00
Staff of Drive Direct and the Message Trust celebrate as Luleka Domo, the administration and fundraising manager of the trust, receives the keys to a new car from Drive Direct owners Colin and Una Aranes. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Staff of Drive Direct and the Message Trust celebrate as Luleka Domo, the administration and fundraising manager of the trust, receives the keys to a new car from Drive Direct owners Colin and Una Aranes. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Tenth anniversary celebrations at a car rental company in Airport Industria means more mobility for a project with a special message in Woodstock.

Ten years ago Colin Aranes and his wife Una started Drive Direct and over the years their success has been benefitting a number of projects across the peninsula. This time they had a special present for the Message Trust – a new car to carry on the organisation’s good work.

The Message Trust is an organisation based in Woodstock which reaches out to young people, seeking to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, gangsterism and crime that negatively impact the youth in communities across Cape Town.

Accepting the car on behalf of the organisation administration and fundraising manager Luleka Domo, thanked the company’s staff for the donation. She also explained some of the charity’s activities in the community.

One of its projects is called the message enterprise programme (MEP) that aims to unlock the positive potential of young men in prison.

“This wonderful gift will help us to empower them to become world changers,” she said at the handover.

“They will multiply and in turn change others through this holistic, intensive prison programme that develops every student in business, emotional, social and spiritual support.

“Through this project we seek to break the cycle of unemployment, crime and recidivism.”

Another project is called “gangstar enterprises”, which helps youth out of prison who have graduated the MEP programme, providing employment opportunities, mentorship and entrepreneurial support.

There is also the “Eden project”, which is a partnership between local churches and teams of dedicated youth workers, committed to making a difference in the places where they live.

The trust’s “creative mission” programme includes music, drama, sports and other ways to engage youth.

“We do this through our creative band KineticIV and our work at schools running life-skills and educational workshops,” adds Domo.

Pastor Terence Europa, guest speaker at the handover event, described the Aranes couple as passionate about caring for their community.

“This is especially true for Colin who came from running a shebeen in Eerste River to giving so many a second chance,” he said.

“The two of them would create jobs and business opportunities for individuals who would have found it difficult to be employed in the private sector due to the destruction drugs have caused to them.

“There are records of individuals that were helped to get their learners and driving licences. Some have even become driving instructors and there are others who have moved on to better opportunities after they were given the opportunity to use Drive Direct as a spring board to a new beginning in life.

“With this gift they are giving the Message Trust the chance to be the driving force on guiding young people to a positive path.”

Colin Aranes was humble in response to these accolades.

“I would like to give back to the community that I robbed,” he said.

“Alcohol destroys lives and rips families apart. Children are separated from their parents and parents from their families.

“I have destroyed the lives of so many families and this is my way of giving back to them.’’

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